Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Queen By Right" Virtual Book Tour with Review

Queen by Right.jpg
Queen By Right
Author: Anne Easter Smith
ISBN: 9781416550471
Publisher: Touchstone
Pages: 528


In Cecily Neville, duchess of York and ancestor of every English monarch to the present day, Anne has found her most engrossing character yet. Cecily earned two monikers from her contemporaries: Rose of Raby for her fair-haired beauty and Proud Cis for her fierce loyalty and courage in the face of the many history-making events she experienced in her eighty years. This was a woman who could have been queen had her husband lived to win the day over Henry VI and his queen, Margaret of Anjou, in the winter of 1461.

History remembers Cecily of York standing on the steps of Ludlow Castle, facing an attacking army while holding the hands of her two young sons. Queen by Right reveals how she came to step into her destiny, beginning with her marriage to Richard, Duke of York who she meets when she is nine and he is thirteen. Raised together in her father’s household, they become a true love match, and together they face personal tragedies, pivotal events of history, and deadly political intrigue.

All of England knows that Richard has a clear claim to the throne, and when King Henry VI becomes unfit to rule, Cecily must put aside her own hopes and fears and help her husband decide what is right for their family and the kingdom. As civil war escalates between the cousins of Lancaster and York, Cecily will lose her love, her favorite brother and her dearest child. But in the end, she will watch proudly as her oldest son takes his father’s place at the head of a victorious army and is crowned at Westminster Abbey as King Edward IV.

My Thoughts:

"Queen By Right" was an amazing novel about Cecily of York and takes place in the mid-1400's, when Henry VI was king and Jeanne d'Arc was an important part of France and England's history. Anne Easter Smith does a remarkable job of being able to take the reader back in time and she brings both the people and places to life. I loved that Smith had included so many extras: a family tree, a dramatis personae (making it easy to identify someone), maps, a nice list of resources, and a glossary, plus an author's note that explained her creative liberties, as well as a reading group guide. 

I enjoyed Smith's prose, and was extremely pleased to find the book was not dumbed down, but instead, had me pulling out my dictionary at times as well as researching both phrases, places and people. To me, this was a wonderful piece of historical fiction - written accurately (except where she points out the liberties she's taken) and with an evident passion for the subject. I was so involved and intrigued with this novel, that I had to purchase another of Smith's books, "Daughter of York".

"Queen By Right" was an absolute delight to read. It comes HIGHLY recommended!

Book was supplied through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for me to honestly review.